A torrent of snippets!

A torrent of snippets!

The reason I’m putting out four snippets all at once is I have time to relax on this plane to Austin. The reason I haven’t been writing snippets in the month leading up to this… I think I was shaken from the habit by the NeurIPS deadline, and then didn’t take the habit back up after the deadline passed.

I find this pattern recurring, and I remember I was already aware of it at least as far back as 2013. The pattern is: I develop a habit, I am diligent at keeping that habit until it’s broken by some event (usually travel), and then I’m slow to take the habit back up if I do at all after the perturbation has subsided. In this case, travel is actually the thing leading me to pick the snippets habit back up, rather than the thing to break the habit (although perhaps my snippets-stopping did correspond to a travel time; I’d need to look at a calendar to double check.)

Anyhow, noticing this pattern suggests a way to combat it, to keep habits through these perturbations. It will require some diligence, but I think the trick is to anticipate the perturbation and make a plan to reignite the habit after its conclusion. For example, if I’m traveling for a weekend, I could schedule an email to myself saying “resume habit X” to be delivered a couple days after I get back from my travels, when I expect the perturbation to have fully passed.

I think I’ll leave a message for my future self here and now, for next Wednesday: David, on Wednesday June 23, resume the “Snippets” and the “After Work Activities” habits.